Has President Barack Obama bit off more than he can chew? Politicians who “mess” with Americans’ right to bear arms don’t usually fare well. This was true in the past and is even more apt in today’s, more radicalized and polarized, America.
After the senseless slaughter of innocent school children in Newtown, one in a series of mass shootings and massacres in America committed with assault weapons, Obama must have figured that his second and final term of office would be as good a time as any to tackle Americans’ (increasingly warped) love of guns.
I don’t mind people having guns for their protection. The police can’t be everywhere, and as criminals have become more brazen and more violent, people can’t be faulted for wanting to protect themselves and their loved ones.
A firm believer in the “castle doctrine”, it has always been my position that when an intruder breaks into your house, you should be able to eliminate the danger to your family by any means possible - and without asking any questions first.
But would you need a military-grade weapon to defend yourself? A simple handgun, a knife or a baseball bat can take out an intruder. Firing an automatic or semiautomatic weapon inside your home would come at the tremendous risk of hitting innocent bystanders - the very people you were supposed to protect.
When it comes to guns, Americans have developed a pathological obsession not unlike the one they (and some Canadians too) have with cars. The American Constitution allows for gun ownership, and Obama or anyone else should never even think of taking that right away. But nowhere does it say that a gun has to be a status symbol, i.e., a heavy-duty assault weapon.
Just as cars are supposed to be utilitarian tools that get you from point A to point B, so should a gun serve only one purpose: to protect you in case you need to defend yourself. Anyone who treats his car or gun like a toy, or even a pet, has a serious problem and should seek professional help in my view.
Celebrating a “Gun Appreciation Day”, to give but one recent example of Americans’ worsening slide into deranged extremism, should serve as a telltale sign to all Americans that it’s time to take serious action against extreme forms of gun ownership.
Banning all forms of assault weapons will not interfere with Second Amendment rights, but it will make America a safer place - and deal a long-overdue therapeutic blow to the National Rifle Association and the likes of mouth-foamers like Alex Jones. (How incredibly insane the “debate” has become is illustrated by Jones’s attacks on others in his own political camp, such as Glenn Beck.)
Maybe such a ban will instill some much-needed normalcy among Republicans again, and perhaps even render them electable again in a future election. After all, that the Republicans, under the malignant influence of the Tea Party, have veered off the cliff and abandoned even a semblance of reason and common sense is borne out in stark terms by the growing number of Americans on the right who seriously believe that the Newtown massacre was staged by the Obama administration in an attempt to sway public opinion against guns.
It wouldn’t be a problem if only sane and reasonable people owned guns (any type of gun or weapon), but sadly that’s not the case here. Personally, I find it scary that crazy people like the Newtown shooter should have access to military weaponry, and, frankly, the very idea of people like Jones, or Newtown truthers, having similar guns should scare the living daylights out of everyone.
Therefore, regardless of your political bias, and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Obama, there can be no doubt that America needs a drastic change and do-over with respect to the types of guns Americans are allowed to own or use.